Why Google is investing in global translation

The term “language barrier” may soon be outdated as new, powerful translation tools, from apps to widgets to websites, hit the market.

On Wednesday, Google announced its latest translation innovation in a blog post. Google Translate has introduced 13 new languages to its portfolio. The translation system can now translate 103 languages and covers 99 percent of the online population, according to the tech giant’s own estimates.

The news of Google’s language expansion came a little over a month after Skype, owned by rival tech company Microsoft, rolled out real-time text translation over video chat and text conversations with Skype Translator.

With the race to be the preeminent translation tool growing more competitive, what’s at stake and why are tech companies so interested?

Read more: Christian Science Monitor

Google now translates Star Wars languages

Google has even more Star Wars stuff to give us between now and the launch of The Force Awakens on December 17th, and the latest is all about learning a new language.

Now, Google Translate gives you the chance to take your measly English words and transform them into… Aurabesh…

Read more: Irish Examiner

Learning the lingo: Here’s how Google Translate copes with even the rarest languages

Google Translate usually gathers its linguistic intelligence automatically from across the internet, where the world’s most dominant languages have the most representation.

But to master translation involving dialects and relatively less widely used languages, Google needs input from users and native speakers. Without this community input, Google Translate won’t be able to accommodate lesser-used languages.

As part of that process, late last month residents of Friesland, a northern province of the Netherlands, carried out an effort to improve Google Translate’s ability to handle the local language, West Frisian.

The Friese community contributed over 200,000 translations through Google’s Translate Community tool.

Read more: ZDNet